Before Chris Pratt picked up his Walkman and called himself Star-Lord in the MCU, he played Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation and learned valuable lessons about endings that have helped him deal with the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy coming to a close.
Speaking during a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 press junket, Nathan Fillion asked Pratt what it was like on the last day on set because, as we’ve all been told, this will be the end of a journey that began in 2014. He also wondered if they expected him to get up and give a big speech to honor this moment.
“I don’t know if they wanted me to, but they weren’t gonna stop me. I guess — you know, the thing that you want to avoid is regret, right? One day looking back and thinking ‘ugh, why did I just let that go by without trying to enjoy every moment? Why didn’t I savor that?’ And I knew that going into it,” Pratt said. “So I’ll never have that thought in my head that, ‘Man, I just wasn’t present to it.’ I was present, and it still felt like a whirlwind and for the most part, you know, the feelings that I was sort of writing down in the back of my mind about the experience were — they sound trite — but it was just gratitude and just being grateful to James.
“I wanted to be the guy who reminded everyone how far we’ve come and all the things that we’ve overcome. So I read, like, a few reviews from people who had said that the Guardians was gonna be the first big flop. I was like, ‘here’s what this guy said and this guy said and this guy said. Don’t know how those ended up in my notes for the past nine years!'”
As Pratt continued, he discussed how Parks and Recreation, which aired from 2009 to 2015 on NBC, prepared him for what was to come.
“But it was just important to me to — I knew how important it was to me to be present in that moment and I also knew, because I have had the experience of being part of things that have come and gone,” Pratt said. “I remember on Parks & Rec, it felt that after seven years, on TV shows that I’ve done, it was like the last day of school before summer, and you’re not gonna be coming back to school together. It’s that summer camp vibe of, ‘am I ever gonna see these people again?’ It’s an emotional feeling and having gone through that, it was important that I A) be present, but also, that I coerce other people into being present as well. So that was sort of a responsibility that I felt like I had, just checking in with everybody.”
Pratt is set to star in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which will be released in theaters on May 5, 2023. In our review, we said, “The Guardians of the Galaxy deliver their swan song in Vol. 3 and it’s a rockin’ good time. Rocket’s tragic origins, great action and effects, and James Gunn’s soulful style send them out on an emotional high note.”
For more, check out our favorite Andy Dwyer quotes, why we believe Parks and Rec is one of TV’s best comedies, and how Pratt almost gave up on the MCU after a failed Thor audition.
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Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.